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Yojana Nector – Education !!! (Jan 2016)

Yojana Nector is an initiative where we are trying to filter out 80 page or more contents of Yojana magazine and give you the “cream” or “nector” of the whole magazine.The idea is to give you something, that you can retain, internalize and put in the exam papers. What we essentially pick is – the critical aspects and most important datasets along with statements that can add value to you answer. It has varied range of utility as far as UPSC exams are concerned. Use it wisely and Don’t forget to revise.

Also, we add few points on our own as well and will keep adding this section if we find anything interesting or substantial. What that means is, it is not confined to YOJANA only, it is YOJANA and beyond.


1)At the time of attaining freedom, India’s literacy rate was just 12 per cent. Today, as per 2011 census, our literacy rate comes to 74.4 per cent. Kerala with 93.91 and Mizoram with 91.58 per cent lead and inspire other states to achieve further heights.

2)I t is more than six decades ago that India embarked on the task of transforming the elitist system of education inherited from the colonial past into one that is mass based and built on principles of equality and social justice.

3)One of the most defining moments in this journey has been the amendment of the Constitution making education a Fundamental Right and adopting the corresponding Right to Education Act by the Indian Parliament in 2009

4)It has been repeatedly reiterated that we spend at least six per cent of GDP on education, as resolved in the 1968-National Policy on Education.Presently, less than or about four per cent of GDP is allocated to education

5)The advent of Massive Open Online Courses, known commonly as MOOC has seen great interest in its scalability and reach.MOOCs have the potential to address a looming scarcity of teachers at all levels of education. They also have the potential of addressing a severe quality problem at the school level.

6)The widely known Delores Commission Report (UNESCO, 1996) that presented a vision of education in the 21st century identified seven tensions that human beings are facing at present:

1)Global and the local;

2)Universal and the individual;

3)Tradition and modernity;

4)Long term and short-term considerations;

5)Competition and equality of opportunity;

6)Knowledge explosion and capacity to assimilate; and

7)Spiritual and material;

7)The objectives of education, in whatever manner these are articulated, finally lead to one comprehensive statement; it has to be man- making education! When Swami Vivekananda states that ‘education is the manifestation of perfection already in man’, he is putting the totality of human life, its goals, objectives, process and product in a couple of words that even the great treatises may not communicate!

8)Rabindranath Tagore presents his comprehension of education as a relationship of man and nature: “The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence

9)Every survey, be it the Annual state Education Report (ASER) report or the National Achievement Survey of NCERT or the international test [PISA], all have shown levels of learning, even in basic competencies of reading and math, to be much lower than what they should be. The alarming results have led to heated debates over the causes of decline in quality and possible solutions to the problem.

10)Perhaps, the most fundamental element of how we perceive education lies in the distinction often made in academic and policy discourse between the “instrumental” and the “intrinsic” value of education [Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen, 1996]. The former refers to education as a means to improve opportunities for social and economic mobility measured largely in terms of employment and income growth, whereas the latter refers to improvement in the quality of life of an individual going far beyond the quantifiable benefits that education provides

11)This is not to deny that “skills” have no place in the life of a child or in a school curriculum. They do – but they are of a different nature and play a different role. “Life- skills”, for instance, have emerged as a crucial element in the learning grid of children. Other non-academic or non-cognitive skills too have an important role to play in the educational development of children. The problem emerges when policy advocates life skills for some and vocational skills for others, especially at the level of school education

12)Twenty-four years after the 1990 EFA Conference in Jomtien (Thailand), it is now recognised that the prevailing gender gap in educational achievement remains quite significant.Given the layers of inequalities and the growing prevalence of caste and community based mobilisation, there is a need to go beyond standard indicators of enrollment and transition and go deeper into the schooling experience of children

13)National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) in 2014 documents that between 2000-01 and 2013-14, the enrollment of SC children in primary education increased from 21.3 million to 26.3 million, marking an increase of 24.1 per cent in just one decade. Similarly, the enrollment of ST children in primary education during the same decade has increased from 11 million to 14.7 million, registering 33.6 per cent of increase. At the upper primary level too, both SCs and STs have registered a significant progress (from 6.7 million to 12.9 million in the case SCs and from 3.1 million to 6.5 million in the case of STs) during 2000-01 to 2013-14.

14)However, the excitement of gains in the enrollments fizzle-out when one observes the drop-out rates at the elementary stage. While the drop-out rate for all categories of children was 42.3 per cent in 2008-09, it is 47.9 per cent for the SC children and 58.3 per cent for ST children.

That means nearly or above 50 per cent of those who enter into the elementary school leave it by the time they complete that particular stage of education. Some analysts may claim that inspite of such high levels of drop-out, there indeed was a decline of the trend over the years.

However, this reasoning and justification does not help in the overall achievement of universalization of elementary education. thus, it continues to be a major hurdle for the country to claim provision of basic education for all its children. This issue of drop-out and retention accelerates as children move up the higher levels of education ladder. It means that while entering the school was exciting for children and their parents, but it was not so exciting to continue in the school till they attain some decent levels of education.

For children coming from SC and ST homes, it means that they remain mostly non-literate or poorly literate and thus will continue to be in the marginal or disadvantaged position to claim benefits of education and development the country seems to be witnessing

15)In the decade between 1950 and 1960, even as we produced more engineers and doctors, the actual number of illiterates in the country rose from 294.2 million to 325.5 million.

The divergence between education and skill development was also institutionalised –higher education became a focus area for the Ministry of Education (as it was then), while skills education and labour policy were relegated to the Ministry of Labour. Given that these two departments often competed for the same scarce resources, it was only a matter of time before education and skills development came to be viewed as separate from each other- which has negative impact as it lacked the “wholesome” approach towards education and skill, given that both are inherently interlinked and fusion was needed not diffusion.

16)Not undermining the contribution of the State Governments, education being on concurrent list, Government of India also initiated several schemes/ programmes to improve access to quality education. Following is a list of key programmes/schemes which Central Government started during the last two decades in 1991 (when Globalisation began) or so.

1)Operation Black Board (OBB):-

Operation Blackboard is a centrally sponsored programme which was started in 1987 immediately after the Rajiv Gandhi NPE of 1986 was released to supply the bare minimum crucial facilities to all primary schools in the country. The objective of the scheme is providing students studying in primary settings with the necessary institutional equipment and instructional material to facilitate their education. There is a provision to provide salary for an additional teacher to those primary schools that have an enrolment of more 100 students or for a consecutive period of two years. In the ninth five year plan the scheme was extended to all upper primary schools as well

2)Lok Jumbish Project:-

Lok Jumbish Project was introduced in phases in Rajasthan. The first phase of the project was for a period of two years from 1992-94, with the expenditure shared between SIDA, Government of India and Government of Rajasthan in the ratio 3:2:1. The second phase stretched up to 1998, with the sharing modality remaining the same. The coverage of the pro­ject is presently extended to 75 blocks, covering a population of approximately 12 million.

Lok Jumbish has had a positive effect on the empowerment of locally-elected peo­ple, especially on female representatives at village level, who are often active members of the Lok Jumbish core teams or women’s groups. The Village Education Committees (VECs) carefully formed and trained though environmental building activities in the Lok Jumbish programme.

They were actively involved in school matters. Moreover, this project has also successfully welded together government agencies, teachers, NGOs, elected representatives and the other rural people in such a way that they now function as an interactive group, working towards promoting universalization of primary education.

A characteristic feature of this project is that special focus is given on environment building in all the training programmes. This helps in the development of an understanding about issues involved in people’s mobilization, use of different media forms and clarity about the messages to be given to the people.

The positive impact of the Lok Jumbish and Shiksha Karmi Project is the involve­ment of the village community in taking responsibility for all educational activities of village school. These projects are serving as an example of how deeply-rooted problems of education in India can be addressed.

3)Strengthening of  Teacher Education

4)Mahila Samakhya

5)Education Guarantee Scheme and Alternative and Innovative Education (EGS and AI)

6)District Primary Education Programme (DPEP)

7)Model Schoolsand Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV)

8)Mid-day Meal Scheme (MDM)

9)Scheme for Providing Quality Education for Madrasas (SPQEM)

10)Infrastructure Development in Minority Institutions (IDMI)

11)Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)

12)Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA)

13) Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)

17)One of the proxy, yet most useful, indicator for assessing the access to education is GER. It is defined as the percentage of the enrollment in classes under consideration to the estimated child population in the relevant age groups. Enrolment in these stages includes under-age and overage children. Hence, the total percentage may be more than 100 per cent in some cases.(so don’t be surprised when you see GER above 100)

18)Barriers to access Education –

Gender: Opportunity cost of girl’s labour and early marriages continue to be serious challenges. This is aggravated by the fact of schools not being inclusive and safe spaces for girls. While schemes like KGBVs and NPEGEL have been successful, their reach has been limited in numbers. The larger education delivery system must respond to these barriers more effectively to retain the girls in the schooling system, after enrolment.

Caste:RTE Act has put in place a legal framework of prohibited and mandatory activities to deal with these barriers; nonetheless substantial work will have to be done at the stage of social and school mapping exercises at the village level.

Ethnicity and Language: varies from open discrimination to just differences in physical and cultural scenario between the school and home. Differences in school and home language can lead to children dropping out as the children do not understand and cannot participate in class room interaction. This can be an insurmountable barrier to access

Disability: It is estimated that out of all CWSN-Child with Special Needs, 34 per cent are out of school. The challenges for them are multiple – architectural barriers, inadequate provision of aids and appliances, resource support and curricular access.

Displacement: Displacement arising out of seasonal migration, natural calamities, civil strife etc. acutely affects children from disadvantaged groups and weaker sections. Where displacement can be anticipated, for example through migration patterns, pre-emptive steps to establish seasonal hostels may be taken for schooling of children whose parents migrate during the social and school mapping exercise. Alternately, the receiving place may put them in Special Training with a view to future mainstreaming. The needs of children displaced on account of calamities – floods, earthquakes, civil strife etc. would need to be addressed in an appropriate manner.

Age: Over-age or never enrolled children face an access barrier arising from a sense of humiliation in sitting with younger children. The RTE Act provides for Special Training for these children to enable them to be admitted to an age appropriate class. The States will also have to work on an accelerated curriculum which would be transacted in the Special Training centres, and concurrently ensure that teachers are trained in the appropriate pedagogy.

19)We have been using Classical Test Theory(CTT) in all our measurements and assessments which have inherent limitations. It does not serve any purpose beyond certification. The modern testing methods have more scope in improving the testing and system over a period of time. Item Response Theory (IRT) is being used in all international studies like Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), Trends in Mathematics and Science Studies TIMSS) and Progress in International Reading Literacy (PIRLS). The advantage of IRT is-

1) it assesses the true ability of students irrespective of the difficulty of tests

2) uses multiple tests to have more number of measurements points

3) identify the strengths and weaknesses each item/concept and

4) compare students, real achievement over longer periods to gauge whether the system is improving or not improving.

20)There are a large number of colleges, universities and other institutions having different types of examination systems but rarely a good assessment system. The outcome of the system is, by and large, of very poor quality. This is evident from a recent survey of BRICS, where none of our institutes figures in the first 15. Only Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore figured at 16th position among 200 Institutes. A comprehensive system comprising of internal assessment, tutorials, presentations, projects and external assessment reflecting what a student has actually achieved, must be reflected in the certificate/ portfolio on completion of the degree. UGC has recently initiated a credit –grade system to improve the quality and provide flexibility within the system.

21)With all experimentation, innovations and reforms, there is no ‘health check’ to tell us whether the health of the education system has improved or deteriorated. Is the new generation more knowledgeable and skillful? Also, there are multiple institutes engaged in conducting entrance examinations. To address these issues, we need an organization like Education Testing Service (ETS) Princeton, New Jersey, U.S. which should take care of above mentioned func t ions and a l so undertake longitudinal research studies. The NPE-1986 has recommended the establishment of a National Evaluation Organization (NEO), but it has remained only at the discussion stage.

22)The three cardinal principles of Education Policy viz., access, equity and quality could be best achieved by providing connectivity to all colleges and universities; providing low cost and affordable access-cum-computing devices to students and teachers; providing high quality e-content free of cost to all learners in the country and providing content to learners to homes via DTH

23)SWAYAM is an indigenous (Made in India) IT Platform for hosting Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) with a capacity to revolutionise the education system by providing best quality education using the IT system to students, even in the remotest corner of the country. It is intended to make available quality education to every citizen and bridge the digital divide; expecting on an average 10,000 learners benefiting out of conduct of one on-line course, the MHRD intends to produce and deliver about 2000 SWAYAM courses per year, therefore tens of millions of students across the country shall benefit from the scheme in the most cost effective way. swayam is expected to operational in May 2016.‘Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds’ (SWAYAM).

24)The EFA(Education For All) Development Index -(EDI) is a composite index brought out in the Education for All Global Monitoring Report, produced by UNESCO every year. It assesses the progress towards the goal of basic education for all children and adults by 2015.This Index uses four of the six EFA goals, that are selected on the basis of availability of data.

These four goals are

1. Universal Primary Education (UPE)

2.Adult Literacy

3.Quality of Education and

4.Gender Parity.

Each EDI component is given equal weightage in the overall index. For each of the four EFA goals, one indicator is used as a proxy measure. For Universal primary education, the indicator is the primary adjusted net enrolment ratio (ANER), which measures the percentage of primary-school-age children who are enrolled in either primary or secondary school. Its value can range from 0 to 100 per cent.

An ANER of 100 per cent means that all eligible children are enrolled in school. For Adult literacy, the adult literacy rate for those aged 15 and above is used as a proxy to measure its progress. For Quality of education, the survival rate to Grade 5 is the best available proxy for assessing the quality component of EDI. Lastly, for Gender, a simple average is taken, of the three gender parity indexes (GPI) for primary education, secondary education and adult literacy, with equal weightage given to each.

The EDI value is expressed in percentage, thus, can vary from 0 to 100 per cent .When expressed as a ratio, it can range from 0 to 1. The EDI value for a given country is thus, the arithmetic mean of the four proxy indicators. The higher the EDI value, the closer the country is towards achieving the goal of Education for All.

24)SARANSH – Saransh is an online platform for a comprehensive self-review and analysis of student’s performance and progress. It is a digital interface portal offering a one-to-one interaction platform between teachers and the parents of their students. It works on a data-driven decision support system to help parents in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of their children and make them better informed about the child’s likes and dislikes in turn enabling them to take informed decisions about their future. Saransh has been recently launched by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development as one of the many digital initiatives under ‘Digital India’ campaign, to promote information and communication technologies in CBSE affiliated schools and bring transparency in the existing educational system in India

25)India’s Ranking in Global Innovation Index – “The Global Innovation Index” (GII) is a publication brought out by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as co-publishers, and their Knowledge Partners. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) was their knowledge partner from India for the year 2015. India’s position in the GII rankings during current year is 81

26)The word ‘education’ means different things to different people. At its most reductionist but widespread understanding , education means attending regular school, learning academic curriculum, getting grades, attaining a formal degree which will ultimately permit and certify one as capable of joining the productive work force as an engineer, doctor, business professional etc. From there, one walks on to the path of success. Over the years, definition of education has evolved. This evolution is well reflected in words of Mark Twain “I have never let my Schooling interfere with my Education”

27)“Education is a creation of choices, making people aware about those choices and enabling them to make use of those choices”. As education systems expand, one must bear in mind that the end user, the student, has also evolved. Students are no longer ‘tabula rasa’(a clean slate) who used to rely solely on the teacher’s knowledge and the prescribed text books. Schools are no longer temples of knowledge and they face stiff competition from the internet. Today’s learner has vast access to information and while the teacher helps in making sense of this information, he/she is not seen as the exclusive source of knowledge. Teaching must evolve into facilitating. This holds true even more as children turn into adolescents and from primary to middle school

28)Adolescents, the 10 – 19 years age group, account for one-fifth of the world’s population and nearly a quarter of India’s population. They have very special and distinct needs, which can no longer be overlooked.Majority of the public schools have no counsellors or a social worker, yet schools are being asked to deal with more and more mental health needs of their students.In addition, reports of increased bullying and school violence require a recognition and response to the psychic agony of the school campus..

29)According to ICMR study (2005), the overall prevalence of child and adolescent mental health disorders is 12-14 per cent.in the age group 0-5 years, maximum number of children (33 per cent) had diagnosis of hyperkinetic syndrome.

The common diagnoses in age group 6-11 years were: hysterical neurosis, hyperkinetic syndrome, and conduct disorders. The common disorders in age group 12-16 years were: psychosis, hysterical neurosis, and conduct disorders. Psychosis and conduct disorder cases were significantly more among males while hysterical neurosis cases were more common among female children. Mild mental retardation was present in 22 per cent children in 0-5 years age group, 19 per cent children in 6-11 years age, and among 6 per cent in children of 12-16 years age group among those attending the psychiatric clinics/child guidance clinics.To address the issues of growing up and the mental health needs of its students, health has to be integratel in the educational curriculum and schools have to adopt the framework of health promotion.

Education System in Ancient India

30)Major light on the educational system of ancient Indian system is thrown by a number of inscriptions, the most important of which seems to be the Salotgi pillar inscriptions A, B and C, the earliest of which dates from Saka-Samvat 867 or 945 AD. The inscription has been edited by F Kielhorn and H Krishna Sastri in the fourth volume (1896-97) of Epigraphia Indica. Among other things, the inscription states that the chief of the village of Pavittage, Chakrayudha Budha, bathed in the Godavari on the occasion of a solar eclipse, and gave to the community of scholars of the school located in the village some 500 Nivartanas of tax-free land.

One Nivartana of land is supposed to be equal to 5 acres. So this village chief donated about 2500 acres of land to the school .In addition, he donated four Nivartanas of land for the school flower-garden and twelve Nivartanas of land for the expense of putting lights in the school. In addition, 27 dwelling places were donated to the school.

31)The Salotgi inscriptions offer a clear example of what may be considered a temple college. There is inscriptional evidence of a few more temple colleges of this type in south India.At Tiruvorriyur in Chingleput district, there was a big grammar college in the 13th century, which was located in a big hall adjoining the local Siva temple. The college had an endowment of 400 acres and it existed even in the 14th century when certain additional taxes were assigned for its upkeep

1)Changes in funding pattern after devolution by Finance Commission, there has been 25% more allocation made for education and we are progressing towards the expenditure 6% of GDP.

2)Learning Outcomes are assessment standards indicating the expected levels of learning that children should achieve for that class. These indicators can be used as check points to assess learning at different points of time and should be the point of reference for assessment of learning. The learning outcomes for students at elementary level have been finalized and they will be included in the Central Rules of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE), Act, 2009. 3)

3)It is proposed to conduct an Annual Survey of Learning Outcomes (ASLO) through a third party.  It will be conducted in all 36 States and UTs in sample Government and aided schools.

4)The Innovation Fund for Secondary Education would be provided from the budget of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) Scheme to encourage local innovation for ensuring universal access, gender parity and quality improvement, to be introduced in 3479 educationally backward blocks.

Reforms in University Grants Commission:-

1)To allow good quality institutions to be brought under a more liberal regulatory measure, initially with provisions for self regulations and peer review.

2)Graded oversight by the UGC depending on the nature of the institutions is one possibility with less oversight and regulation for good quality institutions and greater UGC guidance and handholding of lesser quality institutions.

3)A system to be put in place for regular curriculum reform which would ensure that the intuitions upgrade their curriculum in consonance with the present day requirements to meet the challenges of the modern world.

4)Credit Based Qualification Framework to be framed with equivalence being determined on credit hours rather than calendar duration.

5)To focus on teacher education, including at the time of induction, and periodically, the latter in the form of refresher training.

National Testing Agency:-

1)CBSE is presently being overburdened with conducting multiple examinations for about an estimated 1.12 Crore number of students over the year

2) In the first instance best entrance examinations for streams of higher education, including the IITs, NITs and even university system would be prepared.

3)It is hoped that later the Agency will move from being merely an examination body to one that is able to support education system. In other words, providing for including outcome learning and outcome assessments for students and in evolving good examination processes.

SWAYAM platform:-

To have a system of quality assurance for courses offered.

For encouraging and preparing faculty of educational institutions to work in conjunction with the MOOCs and to use them in classroom teaching and in smaller students groups.

An outreach and awareness programme for SWAYAM and the DTH channels will be prepared to make them more acceptable to stakeholders.

MOOCs will be blended with Open and Distance Learning system, for better communication and learning structure as a platform of the future.

1)National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)

National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) is a methodology adopted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, to rank all institutions of higher education in India. It ranks Universities, Engineering Colleges, Management Schools, Pharmacy Institutions.

Ranking 2016-

University:– Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

Engineering:-Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

Management:-Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

Pharmacy:-Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal


Impacting Research Innovation & Technology , is a first-of-its-kind Pan-IIT and IISc joint initiative to develop a (a) New Education Policy, and (b) Roadmap for Research to solve major engineering and technology challenges in selected domains needed by the country.

3)Uchchtar Avishkar Yojna (UAY)

The objectives of UAY scheme are to promote innovation in IITs addressing issues of manufacturing industries; to spur innovative mindset; to co-ordinate action between academia & industry and to strengthen labs & research facilities

4)Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN):-

GIAN scheme is for facilitating partnership between Higher Educational Institutions of the country and other countries. The scheme is aimed at tapping international talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs.

5)Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA):-

For strategic funding and reforms in the State Higher Education sector.

February 15, 2017

6 responses on "Yojana Nector - Education !!! (Jan 2016)"

  1. Very good work.
    Thanks upsctree team.

  2. 1 2

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